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The Downton Effect

We previously familiarised you with the ‘Waitrose Effect’, and made you aware of how living near a Michelin star restaurant bumps up your house price, but the plot thickens; introducing the newest property price skewing factor – the ‘Downton Effect’.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the old saying ‘Location, Location, Location’ really does hold true in the modern property market. A recent survey by Halifax has found that if you have the same postcode as a stately home then the average price of your home has jumped by close to twice the national average price increase since 2005. This has been coined ‘the Downton Effect’.

For example, if you wish to purchase a property near a stately home in 2015 post Downton Abbey mania), it’s going to cost you £319,203 on average. In 2005 the same property would have cost around £89,506 – that’s a 39% increase! Houses in general increased in price by 22% over the same 10 year time frame, confirming the true power of Downton…

Halifax looked at locations with nearby stately homes and found that 76% had inflated house prices compared with bordering areas. Taking Hampstead Heath as an example, properties close to Kenwood House (located on the edge of the heath) will cost you a hefty 1.4 million to purchase, £770,023 or 120% more than the average cost of properties in surrounding areas.

In the area of Ham House in Richmond upon Thames, a buyer would typically pay more double the average amount of a property in areas immediately adjacent; homes near Ham House routinely go for as much as £956,040.

And the Downton Effect isn’t limited to Southern England – in Knutsford Cheshire, properties close to Tabley House, Tatton Park and Peover Hall and Gardens are worth 83% more than the average price of homes in the surrounding area.

Halifax’s survey indicates that buyers are more than willing to pay premium prices for properties proximate to stately homes – and they aptly describe this as ‘Downton’s halo effect’.

Stately homes such as the one featured on ITV’s hit period drama Downton Abbey arouse feelings of family and a happy home life within people; although most people’s budgets don’t allow them to actually own and live in one, living nearby is the second best thing.

One of Halifax’s housing economists, Martin Ellis, said “The popularity of shows like Downton Abbey evoke a time and lifestyle of a bygone age. While a stately home may be beyond most people’s budgets, we’re seeing more and more people who are prepared to pay a premium to live near one”.

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